US overtakes China, Italy with highest COVID-19 confirmed cases


The United States on Thursday became the global epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic with the highest number of infections, according to data released by different institutions.

Figures compiled by the John Hopkins University indicate that the U.S. was topping the chart with 85,505 confirmed cases.

It was followed by China, where the virus broke out in December, with 81,782 cases and Italy, the hardest-hit country in Europe, with 80,589 infectious.

Reuters posted slightly different figures that also place the U.S. on top with 82,153 infections; China, 81,285, and Italy, 80,539.

The U.S. also led in the data released by with 82,547 cases; China, 81,285, and Italy third with 80,589 cases.

On fatalities, Italy was the worst-hit with 8,215 deaths, according to John Hopkins and, followed by Spain with 4,365, and China, 3,292.

As of Thursday, the U.S. had 1,295 fatalities, the data indicated.

Reacting to his country’s new status as the epicentre, President Donald Trump said the latest figures were proof of improved testing in the U.S.

“I think it is a tribute to our testing; you don’t know what the numbers are in China, you just don’t know.

“We are testing tremendous numbers of people, far ahead of any country in the world,” he said in response to a question seeking his comment on the data.

The state of New York is the largest contributor to the U.S. tally with no fewer than 21,873 confirmed cases as of Thursday.

Briefing newsmen, the state governor, Andrew Cuomo, said the number of deaths rose by 100 from 285 to 385 in 24 hours.

Cuomo stated that the major challenge facing the state was the increasing fatality figure, in addition to patients spending longer time on ventilators (between 20 and 30 days).

To manage the shortage of ventilators, the governor said a technology had been approved that enables two patients to share one ventilator in a procedure called “splitting”.

Update by John Hopkins on the global scene showed that there were 526,044 and 23,709 deaths in 175 countries of Thursday afternoon.



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